Immigration in 2019: An Unprecedented Opportunity for Believers

God be gracious to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us—Selah.
That Your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2 (NASB)

Today famine, war, gang violence, sectarianism, and political power wrench people from their homes. They flee to save their lives or to escape imprisonment or abuse. Hoards of people flood across borders and live among those they once feared or even fought. The U.N. Refugee Agency has documented 68.5 million people displaced worldwide.

Embers of hope glow among the coals of tragedy, though. The love of Christ compels Jordanian churches to reach out in love to those who once threatened them. As a result, Muslims are reconciled to Christ and to Christians. My Iranian friend, “Violet” and her husband came to faith while they waited in Turkey to be invited to the U.S. God relocates massive groups of people, but as he does, he brings them to the doorstep of Christians all over the world. Christians are reaching out to refugees in France. I used to pray for an opportunity to reach the Kurds and now my friend or I give two Kurdish ladies a ride home from English class each day.

What about in your country, state or city? Are you recognizing the opportunity refugees afford us to bless the nations? Is the church in your country taking advantage of this God-sized opportunity to reach those who have never heard the Gospel?

Current events provide another privilege to believers. Some countries have the opportunity of having needy Christians flooding directly into their countries. “What opportunity?” you ask. Scripture says, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:10 (NET)

Many Syrian Christians have fled their country and need care and welcome from the body of Christ in countries that receive them. The United States has the unique opportunity to welcome Christians from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who are seeking asylum here. El Salvador’s population is 50% Roman Catholic and 36% Protestant; Guatemala’s is almost the same, and Honduras has a population that is 46% Roman Catholic and 41% Protestant. Imagine the possibilities. The child you packed a Christmas shoebox for last year, may be the believer needing care in your country today.

As Christians, join me in making certain our thinking is aligned with what God is doing in the world. Let’s look for opportunities this year in our communities to collaborate with others to serve the nations.

Beth Barron and her husband have worked cross-culturally for decades, first in the Middle East and now in the U.S. She teaches English to refugees and uses her writing skills to advocate for them. Beth enjoys writing, biking, vegetable gardening and connecting heart to heart with other women. She is involved in her church's External Focus ministry. She and her husband have three adult children, two daughters-in-love and three grandsons. Beth graduated from Rice University in Houston, attended Dallas Theological Seminary and is committed to life-long learning.